Quick Project Snapshot

The taxonomy of enteroendocrine cells and their innervation

The hormone secreting cells of the gastrointestinal tract are essential for normal gut health and are targets for therapy.  They signal to and receive signals from the nervous system, but their relationships with nerves are poorly understood.

Program Leaders: Prof John Furness, Ms Billie Hunne, Ms Josiane Fakhry and Dr Brid Callaghan,

Contacts: Prof John Furness: john.furness@florey.edu.au & Dr Brid Callaghan: b.callaghan@unimelb.edu.au

The hormone secreting cells of the gastrointestinal tract are essential for normal gut health and are targets for therapy.  Enteroendocrine cells (EEC) receive input signals from nerves and also signal to nerves.  They are targeted for the treatment of disease, including diabetes.  Recent studies from our and other labs show that the distributions of these cells are substantially different between species and that there are complex patterns of colocalisation of the hormones.  In this study you will use immunohistochemical methods, along with high resolution fluorescence microscopy and computer-aided image analysis to compare the distributions of EEC, their innervation and the colocalisation of hormones in human and in model species, mouse, rat and pig.

The relation between a nerve fibre and an endocrine cell (EEC) in the stomach.



Cho, HJ, Kosari, S, Hunne, B, Callaghan, B, Rivera, LR, Bravo, DM, Furness, JB:  Differences in hormone expression patterns of K-L enteroendocrine cells in the mouse and pig small intestine and colon.  Cell Tissue Res 359, 693-698 (2015)

Reynaud, Y, Fakhry, J, Fothergill, LJ, Callaghan, B, Ringuet, M, Hunne, B, Bravo, DM, Furness, JB:  The chemical coding of 5-hydroxytryptamine containing enteroendocrine cells in the mouse gastrointestinal tract. Cell Tissue Res 364, 489-487 (2016)

Systems Neurophysiology

In Systems Neurophysiology we seek to learn how the nervous system controls various bodily functions and how that control is altered in disease. Our disease focus includes not only neurological disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, but also how the nervous system impacts on non-neurological diseases such as heart failure and inflammatory diseases.  A clear understanding of basic mechanisms is crucial in developing better therapies and reducing the impacts of illness. 

All Labs that operate in this Division

Autonomic Neuroscience LaboratoryDigestive Physiology and Nutrition LaboratoryNeurocardiovascular LaboratoryNeurovascular Biology LaboratoryRespiratory Neurophysiology LaboratoryViscerosensory Laboratory